As a Christ-following member of the media, I often find myself in situations with individuals who do not share my worldview or faith. It’s in those social scenarios that I realize that my work is simply to show up so God’s presence has a place at the table.
Being a Christ-follower is all about finding that common ground with everyone. Jesus did that exceptionally well.
In John 4, Jesus went out of his way to find someone (in this case a Samaritan woman) whom society said he should avoid. That’s the first step to finding common ground—you often must go outside your comfort zone—whether it’s geographically, emotionally, or politically.
Jesus showed us the second point of finding common ground when he did not condemn the Samaritan woman. John 3:17 tells us Jesus does not condemn—and neither should we. He didn’t chide her for her sin, or heap shame upon her. He intersected with her life to show God’s love and reorient her focus to God’s truth.
Bringing a person face-to-face with their sin is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is he who convicts (John 16:7-11). Note it says he convicts, not condemns. Neither Jesus nor the Holy Spirit condemns people. Conviction does not leave love out of the equation, whereas condemnation leaves no room for love. Conviction is born of love; condemnation from a lack of love and compassion.
It has been said that righteousness without tears is arrogance. I’m afraid the world has seen too much of our righteousness and not our tears of compassion.
Following the examples of Jesus in finding common ground will allow us to act as Christ’s ambassadors and reach others so that they may be reconciled to God.
Question: God has given us the role of going outside the church walls to be his ambassadors. How will you step outside your comfort zone to establish common ground with someone you ordinarily would not intersect with?